CBeebies to focus on classic children’s tales

MUMBAI: BBC has announced that CBeebies fans around the world will be treated to classic children’s stories in a series of
short films commissioned for the preschool network. BBC Worldwide has concluded deals with children’s publishers Barefoot Books and Ladybird Books which will see eight tales read by the CBeebies presenters in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Poland.

The films were commissioned as an addition to the ‘Story Time’ sections of the international CBeebies websites. In their readings of the tales, the CBeebies presenters give each story a distinctly local flavour to create a range of bespoke story time pieces for children around the world.

A total of 40 short illustrated films will be created from the eight fables. From Ladybird Books come Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Magic Porridge Pot, Cinderella, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Elves and the Shoemaker, while Barefoot Books has provided Shopping With Dad, The Gigantic Turnip and Emily’s Tiger. So far readings have been completed for Africa, Asia and Poland featuring Sid Sloane, Nisha Anil and Aneta Piotrowska respectively.

Similar recordings are planned for Australia (fronted by Robbie Harding and Duncan Fellows) and Latin America (with Roser Caba?as). Sid, Nisha, Robbie and Duncan will read in English, while Aneta reads in Polish for local children, and Roser in Spanish.

As well as CBeebies’ international websites, the films will also appear on BBC Worldwide’s pay TV channels and associated on-demand services, and on the CBeebies channel on British Airways’ in-flight entertainment system.

Additionally, the films will feature on the official CBeebies Facebook fan pages, and on ‘CBeebies On The Go’, the free app for iPhone®, iPod Touch and iPad available across the Asia
Pacific market.

The deals with Barefoot Books and Ladybird Books were brokered by Simon Clarke, digital content and marketing manager at BBC Worldwide Channels.

CBeebies Investment director at BBC Worldwide Henrietta Hurford-Jones said of the development, “These stories are a lovely addition to the CBeebies’ international portfolio. It’s very important that children in all our markets can relate on a very personal level to what they see on screen and these stories bring them universally loved tales with the added familiarity of their local presenters. The films originally started life as a part of the CBeebies site and have developed into a rich, multimedia experience for preschoolers around the world.”

The stories will launch on the television network from February. Rollout has already begun on CBeebies’ digital platforms, with films currently available on the local websites in South Africa, Asia and Poland.

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